SPOKANE, Sept. 10 — Virgil Giovannoni, almost an unknown in Western International League pitching circles, hurled a 4-2 victory for Spokane over Salem Thursday night in the opener of the league's best-of-seven playoffs.
Giovannoni gave up six hits and two walks, the same as his Salem opponent, Joe Nicholas. But he struck out six, to Nicholas' four.
Both teams got two unearned runs as over-eager fielders bobbled the ball three times for each side.
Jim Command led off the scoring in the fourth inning with a 375-foot home run over the right field wall for Spokane, with the bases empty.
After the Senators went ahead with two unearned runs in the top of the sixth, they gave the game away in the bottom of the frame as the Indians scored three times on a walk, a triple and two errors.
Giovannoni walked. Eddie Murphy was safe at first when Connie Perez booted his grounder, and both scored when Wilbur Johnson tripled to right field. Then Johnson scored as Hugh Luby threw wild to the plate in the effort to put out Murphy.
Luby flied out in the seventh with two men on base to end the Senators' final threat.
It was Giovannoni's third win in five starts this season.
A disappointing crowd of 2,161 turned out for the first playoff game.
Spokane Manager Don Osborn said Art Worth will start at the mound for the Indians in the second game Friday night and Salem Manager Luby said either Dave Dahle or Gene Roenspie would get the nod for Salem.
Salem ......... 000 002 000—2 9 3
Spokane ..... 000 103 00x—4 8 3
Nicholas and Masterson; Giovannoni and Sheets.
AT CAP HELM
Stars’ Eddie Malone May Replace Storey
By CLANCY LORANGER
[Vancouver Province, Sept. 11, 1953]
Harvey Storey won’t return as manager of the Vancouver Capilanos in 1954. General manager Dewey Soriano said today he was “disappointed” by the club’s late losing streak that finished their second half flag chances and had decided to make a change.
The decision was not unexpected. Soriano had indicated as the season progressed that he would have liked a man with more color and the fire to stir up the club, which leaned to the listless.
Soriano admitted that the “first half” Caps lacked batting punch, but he felt that the second half additions, particularly Jim Clark, made the locals strong enough to win it all.
“Harvey and I had a talk when he got Clark,” said Dewey, “and we agreed there were no excuses if we weren’t in the fight. So then we hit that eight-game losing streak…”
JOB LINED UP
Storey, highly popular here and one of the league’s best hitters, probably will be back elsewhere in the loop as a manager. He said recently he had an “in case” job lined up, probably at Salem. It’s close to his Oregon home and Hugh Luby wants to get out of uniform and move into the front office permanently.
Outstanding candidate for Storey’s job here would appear to be Eddie Malone, the Hollywood Stars’ catcher whom Soriano tried to sign last spring but couldn’t get away from the Stars.
FIVE COME BACK
The new field boss should be just one of many new faces on next year’s crew. Soriano today listed five men he’s counting on as a nucleus, outside of pitchers: Catcher Bob Duretto, first-baseman Gene Petralli, second-baseman Jack Bukowatz, shortstop Jim Clark, and centre-fielder K Chorlton.
[The Capilanos] picked up a player from Calgary in final payment on the deal that sent Jim Wert there. Outfielder Bill Bonebrake is the man, but it’s likely he’ll be converted into a pitcher.